Article Text

PDF
Prevalence and risk factors for common vision problems in children: data from the ALSPAC study
  1. C Williams1,
  2. K Northstone2,
  3. M Howard3,
  4. I Harvey4,
  5. R A Harrad5,
  6. J M Sparrow5
  1. 1
    Centre for Child and Academic Health, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
  2. 2
    Department of Social Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
  3. 3
    Department of Community Based Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
  4. 4
    School of Medicine, Health Policy and Practice, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK
  5. 5
    Bristol Eye Hospital, Bristol, Bristol, UK
  1. Ms C Williams, 24 Tyndall Avenue, Bristol BS8 1TQ, UK; cathy.williams{at}bristol.ac.uk

Abstract

Objective: To estimate the distribution and predictors of some common visual problems (strabismus, amblyopia, hypermetropia) within a population-based cohort of children at the age of 7 years.

Methods: Children participating in a birth cohort study were examined by orthoptists who carried out cover/uncover, alternate cover, visual acuity and non-cycloplegic refraction tests. Prospectively collected data on potential risk factors were available from the study.

Results: Data were available for 7825 seven-year-old children. 2.3% (95% CI 2.0% to 2.7%) had manifest strabismus, 3.6% (95% CI 3.3% to 4.1%) had past/present amblyopia, and 4.8% (95% CI 4.4% to 5.3%) were hypermetropic. Children from the lowest occupational social class background were 1.82 (95% CI 1.03% to 3.23%) times more likely to be hypermetropic than children from the highest social class. Amblyopia (p = 0.089) and convergent strabismus (p = 0.066) also tended to increase as social class decreased.

Conclusions: Although strabismus has decreased in the UK, it and amblyopia remain common problems. Children from less advantaged backgrounds were more at risk of hypermetropia and to a lesser extent of amblyopia and convergent strabismus. Children’s eye-care services may need to take account of this socio-economic gradient in prevalence to avoid inequity in access to care.

Statistics from Altmetric.com

Footnotes

  • Competing interests: None.

  • Ethics approval: Ethical approval for the study was obtained from the ALSPAC Law and Ethics Committee and the Local Research Ethics Committees.

  • Patient consent: Patient consent was obtained.

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Linked Articles

  • At a glance
    Harminder S Dua Arun D Singh